Court:KARNATAKA HIGH COURT
Bench: JUSTICE Huluvadi G. Ramesh
K. NARASIMHAN Vs. ROHINI DEVANATHAN On 24 November 2009
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 – Making certain allegations against respondent by itself would not amount to domestic violence in absence of ingredient of shared household — No proof of petitioner and respondent living together at any point of time — Proceedings initiated against petitioner and complaint filed by respondent is abuse of process — Proceedings quashed.
1. The petitioner has sought for quashing the proceedings against him in Criminal Miscellaneous No. 1445 of 2008 pending before the VIII Additional CMM, Bangalore.
2. The respondent filed a complaint under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 against her husband and the petitioner who is her brother-in-law making certain allegations so as to attract the provisions of Section 3 of the Act. The learned Magistrate based on the said complaint, ordered to register the case and to issue summons, as against which, the petitioner is before this Court seeking for quashing the proceedings on various grounds.
3. As it transpires, the first accused was in search of a girl and contacted the respondent under the matrimonial website i.e., Shadi.com and on 23.2.2004, they got married after negotiation. After marriage, the first accused left for Canada during March 2004 and was residing there. It appears, on 1st August, 2004, the respondent also joined her husband. Thereafter, differences arose between the couple and they started residing separately since May 2007. The respondent also is said to have given an advertisement in matrimonial website column stating that she is separated from her husband and looking for alliance outside India and the same was revised during August 2007. When the relationship between the respondent and her husband was strained, the respondent initiated proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act and also made allegations against her husband and the petitioner herein who is her brother-in-law.
4. According to the learned Counsel for the petitioner, the petitioner was staying independently at Canada and when he came to India, he stayed at Chennai and he never stayed together nor involved in any domestic violence as per the provisions of the Act and it is also submitted that he has been falsely implicated in this case.
5. According to the learned Counsel for the respondent, the first accused namely the husband of the respondent asked the respondent to discuss the matrimonial differences with the petitioner and it is stated that this petitioner is the cause for the differences. She also made certain allegations on the petitioner, which according to the learned Counsel for the petitioner is verbal and emotional abuse as per Section 3(iii) of the Act. As such there is prima facie case against the petitioner and also the learned Magistrate has committed a mistake in directing issuance of process, after registering the complaint.
6. The main grievance of the petitioner is that in order to attract the provisions of Domestic Violence Act and as per the definition of Section 2(s), the accused himself has shared the household. It is submitted that unless it is shown that the petitioner lived in shared household along with the respondent either jointly or individually, the question of attracting the provisions of the act do not arise.
7. Per contra, the learned Counsel for the respondent submitted that Section 2(f) of the Domestic Violence Act is the answer to Section 2(s) and accordingly submitted that the provisions of Section 2(f) is very much applicable to the case.
8. As it transpires, even according to the complainant, the first accused had told the respondent to approach the petitioner who is the second accused to sort out the differences. At that time, according to the respondent, certain aspersions were made on her regarding not bearing a child. According to the learned Counsel for the petitioner it is emotional abuse and what is being noted is that as per Section 2(f) of the Act, domestic relationship means a relationship between the two persons who lived together at any point of time in a shared household by marriage or through a relationship in the nature of marriage. As per the complaint itself, there is no mention that the respondent and the petitioner herein were living together under the same shelter.
9. The only allegation against the petitioner is that at the instance of the first accused i.e., the husband of the respondent, she approached the petitioner at Chennai and there she was abused which according to the petitioner is emotional abuse. As per Section 2(f) or Section 2(s), when the petitioner and respondent never stayed together in the same household, the question of making allegations against her would not arise. Moreover, the petitioner was residing in Canada and only when he came to India, he stayed at Chennai.
10. In the circumstances, making certain allegations against the respondent by itself would not amount to domestic violence in the absence of ingredient of shared household and there is no proof of petitioner and the respondent having lived together or were living together at any point of time. In the circumstances, the proceedings initiated against the petitioner and also the complaint filed by the respondent is abuse of process.
11. The proceedings pending before the Trial Court insofar as the petitioner is concerned is quashed and the petition is accordingly allowed.